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When John Kerry Slandered Me By: Ken Sherman
Iconoclast.ca | Thursday, February 26, 2004

Not too long ago, Senator John Kerry made a remarkable demand in an early political season for remarkable statements: Senator Kerry Challenges President Bush to Debate on Vietnam Service.

Flashback: Thirty-three years ago, in April, 1971, John Kerry and I had important months. In April, 1971, I was in the first month of my second deployment to Vietnam with the US Navy. That month my logbook shows 69.7 flight hours. That month my crew and I flew ten missions in support of Operation Market Time. On these flights we flew our unarmed P-3B airplane on "tracks" - flight paths during which we descended to within 200 feet of the water and, after fixing the contact's position, speed, and course, took multiple photo runs to record a ship's on-deck cargo, electronics, and weaponry. Sometimes the contacts turned out to be neutral freighters or US warships. Sometimes they turned out to be Soviet bloc ships or our primary targets, Chinese or North Vietnamese ships trying to sneak weapons into South Vietnam with which to arm the enemy. When we came across such a ship, sometimes they tried to shoot us down. We had nothing with which to shoot back since Secretary of Defense McNamara had prohibited us from carrying any weapons of self-defense (even pistols for our survival vests) in an attempt to appease the enemy and "facilitate the peace talks."

April, 1971, was also a big month for Former-Lieutenant John Kerry, who had recently resigned his commission so as to be able to brand my shipmates and me monsters. During the so-called "Winter Soldier Investigation" hearings before Congress, Kerry said:
"I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command....

"They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

"We call this investigation the "Winter Soldier Investigation." The term "Winter Soldier" is a play on words of Thomas Paine in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriot and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough.

"We who have come here to Washington have come here because we f eel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country; we could be quiet; we could hold our silence; we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, not reds, and not redcoats but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out?"
Congress, to its everlasting shame, demanded no proof of these allegations, but let them fester in the then-political atmosphere of running as fast as we could to abandon our allies in Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia. Subsequent writings, by high-ranking communist officials and generals, forthrightly thank Mr. Kerry for helping them achieve their subsequent military victory in Vietnam and realize the deaths of at least two-and-a-half million of their own people who were deemed "unnecessary" for the future (not to mention the later repudiation of these allegations by many respected historical researchers).

Fast Forward to the Present: Today, to add further insult to injury, Sen. Kerry harps upon his curiously brief service in Vietnam while assiduously censoring any mention of his activities afterwards in which he blood-libeled my shipmates.

Further, every day, Michael Moore and Kerry's other surrogates screech that President Bush "dodged the draft" by joining the National Guard and that he "deserted" from the Guard because 30+-year-old Guard records are incomplete (thereby demonstrating their ongoing total ignorance of the military and the vicissitudes of military paperwork).

Sen. Kerry has also demonstrated an utter lack of shame in scolding George W. Bush for bring up the subject of Viet Nam, when the President was questioned by reporters about his military service. Mr. Kerry dragged Vietnam into this campaign and now whines that somehow George W. Bush is at fault for bringing up the subject and trying to defend himself.

My shipmates and I served honorably in Vietnam and returned home, almost to a man, to resume normal lives, start families and businesses, get civilian jobs, pursue further education...all the normal stuff that veterans have been doing since after the Revolutionary War. That Mr. Kerry, a former naval officer and fellow Vietnam veteran, would say such things about us remains an indelible stain upon his name and honor.

Mr. Kerry has disgraced himself, by action and word, showing the whole world that he is foremost a career minded, self-centered opportunist, abetted by situational morality and driven by a lust for personal fortune at any cost. If he had any sense of honor, he would not attack President. Bush, but instead apologize to my shipmates, the rest of the US armed forces, and then to the American public, for they deserve far better than anything this stained, pitiful man has to offer.

Our thanks to Ken Sherman, US Naval Reserve (Retired), for this first-person perspective on the shameful anti-war activities of John Kerry. For more writings on this subject, please check out Viet Nam Vets Against Kerry and Kerry Country.

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